Barclays boss Venkat lands £5.2m pay jackpot despite fall in profits

Barclays boss lands £5.2m pay jackpot: Venkat pockets highest earnings for a decade despite fall in profits

Bosses at Barclays have hit the pay jackpot – despite the bank reporting lower-than-expected profits that sent the shares tumbling.

Chief executive CS Venkatakrishnan, who is known as ‘Venkat’, received £5.2million last year, including a £1.9million bonus, accounts published yesterday show.

It is one of the highest payouts to a Barclays boss in the past decade and means that Venkat earned 101 times more than the average Barclays worker last year.

Barclays chief exec CS Venkatakrishnan (pictured), received £5.2m last year, including a £1.9m bonus, accounts published yesterday show

New finance boss Anna Cross was handed a £803,000 bonus, taking her total pay to £2.1million, while her predecessor, Tushar Morzaria, received £3.9million in his final year before retiring.

Barclays also confirmed it paid former boss Jes Staley, who quit in 2021 over his ties to convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, £2.4million for his notice period during the year.

The bumper payouts were revealed as Barclays posted a surprise 14 per cent slide in pre-tax profits to £7billion, down from £8.2billion in 2021.

The shortfall was blamed on a decline in lucrative deal-making, a worsening economic outlook and huge charges linked to litigation and conduct cases.

A pledge to buy back up to £500million of shares in the first quarter of this year also failed to impress investors.

Barclays shares closed down 7.9 per cent, or 14.72p, at 172.6p, wiping out much of this year’s gains so far.

Sophie Lund-Yates of broker Hargreaves Lansdown said Barclays had ‘bitterly disappointed the market’, adding tolerance for any future mis-steps was now ‘very thin’.

In contrast to the boardroom largesse, Barclays’ overall bonus pool shrank 8pc to £1.8billion after profits from corporate and investment banking dropped by almost a quarter to £4.3billion as lucrative deals dried up.

AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said the lender’s performance was ‘bad news for all the bankers currently on the ski slopes expecting fat bonuses’.

The bank saw a surge in fines during 2022, including £966million for a blunder overselling financial products in the US.

In total, its litigation and conduct charges hit £1.6billion, up from £397million in 2021.

Barclays also took a £1.2billion hit as it prepares for a rise in customers defaulting on loans amid the spiralling cost of living.

But on the retail side net interest income surged by 13 per cent to £5.9billion as Barclays profited from higher interest rates.

Lenders have been helped by a series of recent Bank of England base rate hikes, allowing them to charge borrowers more while not passing on higher savings rates by as much.

The difference, which is known as the ‘net interest margin’, is expected to carry on rising from 2.5 per cent a year ago to more than 3.2 per cent this year, Barclays said.

Last week bosses from Barclays, NatWest, HSBC and Lloyds were criticised by MPs for putting up mortgages faster than they increased rates for savers.

Venkat, who is working while being treated for cancer in the US, insisted the bank’s performance last year was ‘strong’.

He added that the bank was ‘cautious’ for the year ahead but saw opportunities to grow sales and profits.

Barclays is the first major British bank to report results for last year.

NatWest is set to unveil figures on Friday while HSBC and Lloyds results follow next week.